I’d like to think I’m aware of each second that ticks by but in the whole scheme of things, time is a concept I fail to grasp and treasure completely– like every other mundane day, it melts into a forgotten blur. Already I can’t remember what I ate this Tuesday. Urgency, on the other hand, is real. More assignments and impending adulthood? What joy!
It’d almost be completely hopeless if I tried to pinpoint the exact moment when I caught myself spacing out amidst the busy chaos that is the later parts of September and early October. Though I cannot remember when, I remember what I caught myself thinking about subconsciously:
My mind didn’t drift off to a past image or memory, but to a specific sound. For those who have ever travelled in an airplane, I found myself disconnected from the real world, from my body and conscious surroundings and listening to the muted hum of an aeroplane mid-flight – when you’re seated next to the window seat at the wing area, the outside scenery is nothing but blue and there is a certain quiet except for the muffled jet engines outside, working hard and spinning fast, bringing you to your next destination.
I was on my final way back from exchange. I was on my way back to Singapore from an adventure that lasted five and a half months. London to Dubai, Dubai back to Singapore. I was on my way back to friends, family, him. I stayed awake during that 8-hour flight, waves of emotions crashing down on me one after another. It’s the feeling of going back to familiarity, a routine you mastered and perfected, everything will be the same just as you’ve left it. It’s the feeling of leaving something behind, something you once struggled with but eventually accustomed, grew to love too much all too fast. Nothing is the same.
Perhaps it is the nostalgia of exchange, the carefree jet-setter couchsurfing lifestyle, that I subconsciously pine for. That melancholic sound of muffled jet engines – so vivid! – reminds me of flying. I was in the plane on the way back, in between territorial air and land spaces – neither here nor there – I could just be. Just be what? Just be where? Neither. Just be. It brings back such lovingly painstaking memories that was the wonderful half of this year, now drawing to its close. Onto the next one I say. More adventures and life events to come, more achievements to unlock, more tragedies to befall and more lessons to learn.
September has been eventful. The front parts are a little blurry to me but more relatively recent bits are fresh in my mind.
His 22nd birthday. Last year’s surprise executed for him (first time celebrating his birthday in our relationship) was a pleasant one, albeit the process was arduous and backfired on me a little so nope, swore off that plan (long story) – decided to send him on a fun little amazing race instead :D, with FOC-inspired clues thrown in the mix. Home to Bounce to Bugis, small decrypting of codes and mini tasks involved.
Boyfriends deserve to be spoilt too. Probably blew half my wallet and midterm out of the water because I dedicated so much time to plan and execute this day rather than study but I regret nothing.
Then again I haven’t seen my results yet so maybe
He said he enjoyed it, and that is success enough for me.
Then the weekend came.
Poor photo quality aside – Entered the Public Policy Challenge 2016 alongside Cheryl, Hameed and Thasneem, my incredibly capable teammates. And despite the clashes in trying to come together physically to fulfil the requirements of the Challenge (more essays, readings and case studies galore!) – we pulled through and emerged as one of the four Champions through our essays and presentations.
We honestly didn’t expect to win. Seriously, we didn’t. We did try our hardest and consulted our assigned mentor (Ms Denise Tan, one insanely cool and competent lady) on how our proposed policies would help the state and its people in the coming of the digitised economy, but during all the presentations we felt ours was inadequate and nowhere near their creative ideas that harnessed the full capacity of technology (or, that was how I personally felt).
Imagine our surprise when they called out our names as the final champions. TEAM PASTA FTW! (Lol yes that was our name. Would you rather Team Curry? Cause we love that too.)
All in all, despite the shelving of other responsibilities and commitments to focus on the essay-writing and presentation-preparing aspects, it is a glorious feeling when your hard work really pays off in the end. I have nothing but gratitude to be able to partake in this opportunity – learning more about the public policy processes in Singapore, how the planning and execution goes, objectives at stake. Far from perfect, but always, always looking to improve. My only criticism is the need to take into account Sociology and the unintended consequences of these policies, but one step at a time.
And then, the day after.
Hall 4 survivors, gathering for a wonderful cause. It’s times like this that make me miss Hall 4 so much my heart actually aches, and also propels me to want to do my FYP but yes, we gathered. To sing, to dance, to make mirth and merry and joy and help our dearest Sultan create a music video to propose to his own dearest. An honour indeed to be part of something beautiful (holy matrimony wooooo).
Congratulations to the newly engaged, Firdaus and Maisarah! May you two always be happy and full of cheer, courage and love (:
Of course, when our Sultan asked we’d jump straight into it. First of our survivor batch to propose/marry – what an honour indeed to be part of this excitement. Have to say though, I’m not too sure when but somehow news of people I knew over social media (seniors, friends etc.) started popping up a lot more and the trend is pretty much almost everyone (of similar or close ages) is getting married or engaged. Well, that sparked a bit of panic in me because it’s really one of those odd situations where half of your friends are single (successful/but not drunk), and the other half are getting married/engaged.
I identify with this so hard. Here I am just praying for adequate employment in the slowing economy… and getting fat eating chocolate.
Rockmaster. Recess week drew to a close and RM Novice Women competition reared its head with overhang walls and a very terrifying slab. Managed three tops (of which, two flashes) and two bonuses. Except for the slab, the routes were my style and I completed them with relative ease – for someone who didn’t train for two weeks prior because of whatever listed above I’d say it was a good fight and good fun. Though not enough, I think I redeemed myself from the disaster that was Bouldermania where mistake upon mistake cost me dearly in that comp.
Fared much better here, but still need to fight more. Above: Jannah, Clarice, me and Sheryl. Just the four of us representing NTU but somehow competing alongside my seniors calmed me down an awful lot. Must be the super chill aura they exude. To more, Allez.
That was last Friday, and then… Sunday.
Featuring old school snacks and sweets, soy bean egg tarts, homemade macarons and a beautiful croquembouche (that tower of cream puffs basically), this nostalgic ensemble was present at my cousin’s wedding.
Yep. First of the cousins / Neo bloodline to get hitched (internal panic +330%). It was a simple affair – tea ceremony, ROM and wedding lunch banquet. Nothing too lavish or over-the-top I’d say but it was still a wonderful event nonetheless. Couldn’t be happier for her and her husband who planned the whole event. Spirits were high, people were happy and having fun, stuffed with food and an abhorrent amount of sugar (NOT THAT I COMPLAINED HAHAHAHAHA). One could say meaningful and traditional rituals of the marriage institution.
I wish them (Wei Xin and Dickson) well, happiness and great fortune as they embark on their wondrous lives ahead as a wholesome pair (:
But (sociology yay!) of course, watching the whole affair from the sidelines (literally, there was nowhere else for me to stand and munch on stuff), weddings in Singapore are a specific privileging device only for heterosexuals. Hearing the ROM solemnizer define marriage in Singapore as between “a man and a woman” suddenly made it hard to swallow. How many more alternative loving couples out there in this country are we ignoring in the pursuance of this stringent definition of “marriage”, that ultimately links to receiving other benefits from the state (e.g. housing, education, healthcare, childcare)? How is it fair people in love are excluded from this institution because of state and social sanctions?
I personally don’t think gay marriage will destroy the world (unless it’s too fabulous for us to handle). There is nothing unnatural about it except for the fact that the sexual organs in either partner are unable to naturally produce an offspring. Even then consider:
(1) the fertility of existing male/female pairs. If a husband and wife are infertile and unable to produce offspring, does it reduce their masculinity and femininity or overall legitimacy of their marriage? Or are these just socially indoctrinated views? And then there’s the alternative of reproductive technology and adoption. How do these affect the purpose of a marriage and what is defined as a family?
(2) The stifling and arguably sexist belief that marriage cumulates in having children (you assume it is a woman’s end destiny to be a mother because of her biological structuring and having a womb? Oh, friend, you are so wrong).
If this loses me a lot of friends or earns me backlash and criticism, so be it. Like why I created this post – to reminisce the hum of jet engines – I’d like to just be. And I’d like to just be sleeping now. 3:10AM woooo.